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Fusing “French ballroom dance with the rhythms of African music” is a dance form known as Beguine. This “Latin American” dance is said to have originated from the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean. Apparently, this dance style (considered to be a slow form of rhumba) first gained popularity when Cole Porter, an American composer, and songwriter wrote the song “Begin the Beguine”. Furthermore, this dance was essentially created for the music that was basically developed using rhythms belonging to the African continent.

a. History/origin of the Beguine:

It was during the 19th century that a style of music referred to as “Beguine” heavily influenced by African rhythms was first developed in the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. It is in response to this new style of music developed that this dance form was then created.

b. Costumes used in the Beguine:

Since this dance is performed by both a male and female the attire is worn is as follows:

1. For females:

The costume includes a long flowing dress along with a pair of shoes possessing high heels.

2. For males:

The costume includes a shirt, trousers, a tie, a suit i.e. a coat, and a good pair of dancing shoes.

c. The music involved in the Beguine:

The song involved in this dance style is basically called “Begin the Beguine” which was supposed to have been composed by an American songwriter and composed called Cole Porter. In addition, since this song essentially belongs to the “Jazz” genre of music the instruments involved include the double bass, drums, guitar, piano, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, trombone, vibraphone, Hammond organ, and harmonica.

d. Training availability and technique involved in the Beguine:

In terms of technique, this dance involves the dancers (i.e. a male and female) dancing slowly in close proximity to each other along with the movement in the hips. In addition, this dance style is considered to be a slower version of the “rhumba”. As for training centers/schools, there are none available since this “indigenous” dance form has basically been created and nurtured specifically in the Caribbean region, as a result of which it has not spread all around the globe.

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